By Anthony Morales |Staff Writer|
As softball season approaches Feb. 2, the Coyotes are hoping to avoid a repeat of last season by winning their first game against Azusa Pacific University. With new team members stepping up to the plate it’s hopeful that this upcoming season will bring some challenges and victories.
To avoid repeating a disappointing season with an overall record of 18-31, the team has started to prepare for conditioning during fall, lifting weights every Monday and Wednesday, and hitting hard drills during practice every day.
Head coach Tacy Duncan is making sure to concentrate on drills during practice to improve the overall quality of the team.
“We’re looking on to improve our fielding and pitching has a lot to do with it. We have great pitchers that came in this year that can keep the ball low. So our defense has to be on the ball,” said Duncan.
“We have been doing a lot of defense drills, rolling the balls, and working on catching the ball on the opposite foot to throw faster,” she continued.
Senior shortstop Britney Butler explained, “Conditioning is a big thing our coach is really big on this year, is getting in shape and being able to last every game, especially our pitcher.”
Duncan’s other solution to this problem is recruiting only athletes who have amazing work ethic and emphasizing more on drills during practice. Even if it means recruiting 10 new freshman.
“We figured out what we needed to win,” said Duncan. “We need the type of athletes who have a great attitude, love the game, dedicated, committed, and have a strong work ethic.”
She also said, “The key is having individuals who are willing and wanting to learn.”
A challenge this upcoming season for the girls is working together as a team along with an injured player overcoming a UCL surgery.
“The challenges we face this season is sticking together, working as a team coming together rather than individually. Last season we had cliques who talked back and we don’t want a repeat of last year,” said Butler.
Butler was injured in fall tearing her UCL during practice while doing pickle drills. She is currently undergoing rehab and is motivated to get back on the field in weeks to come.
“I have full range of motion in my thumb and I’m trying to get healing time shorten so I can get back to playing,” said Butler. “This injury has motivated me to get back on the field and work hard.”
The new incoming team are not only stepping up to the plate but are also bringing a new vibe of team chemistry which was absent from last season. Butler said the “Team chemistry is better than last year.”
Duncan also said that the “team chemistry is 100 times better.”
Looking forward to a fresh new start the team is anticipating to make some big accomplishments with their first upcoming game against Azusa Pacific. Coach Duncan feels the team is ready.
“We have come further along than last year,” said Duncan. “The team is ready and this fresh new energy has gotten everyone pumped and excited.”